We’ve heard about malls and theme parks not allowing unattended minors, but fast food restaurants? This is a new one. A Chick-fil-A in Pennsylvania is prohibiting unchaperoned customers under the age of 16 from dining in the restaurant. They announced this change on Facebook last week and said that it was a hard decision to reach. They say that they love being a pillar in the community where groups enjoy coming and spending time, but attributed the rule to the following issues:
- Volume. They go on to write that the kids are “loud” and often use “explicit language”. The Facebook post reads, “we are a family-friendly restaurant where this is not tolerated.”
- Mistreatment of property. Chick-fil-A states that “food and trash are often thrown around and left on the tables, chairs, and on the floor.” They also say that tables and restrooms have been vandalized and decorations stolen.
- Disrespect of employees. According to the post, the kids laugh at and make fun of employees in addition to disrespecting them. The go on to write that their workers “are cursed at and ignored when they ask the children and teens to either change their behavior or leave.”
- Unsafe behaviors also were stated as a reason for this decision. This includes the kids and teens walking through the parking lot and drive-thru lanes.
As a result, to dine in our restaurant, anyone under the age of 16 is required to be accompanied by an adult. If not accompanied by an adult, they may come in to purchase food, but must take it to go.
They go on to say they don’t blame the parents, though, in my opinion, they should shoulder some of the responsibility but not all. And end the statement by thanking customers for their support. Chick-fil-A franchises are independently owned so as of now prohibiting customers under 16 is limited to this location. It will be interesting to see if any local restaurants follow their lead.